Leaders from the US, UK, Japan, France, Singapore, Italy and other rich countries react with shock and sadness after more than 150 people were killed in a crowd surge and stampede.
World leaders have expressed sadness and condolences after at least 153 people were killed in a crowd surge in Seoul, South Korea.
The tragedy occurred in Seoul’s Itaewon district during Halloween festivities when a huge crowd surged into a narrow downhill alley on Saturday.
At least 22 foreign nationals from 13 countries were among those killed.
Global leaders sent their condolences to South Korea over the deadliest accident it has seen in years, however, their sympathies were lacking on a tragedy that occurred the same day in Somalia.
At least 100 people were killed and 300 wounded in two car bombs that exploded outside capital Mogadishu in one of the worst terrorist attacks in the poor country located on the Horn of Africa.
While Türkiye's Foreign Ministry's offered condolences to South Korea, wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded, it also released a separate statement condemning the “heinous terror attacks" in Somalia
"We are deeply saddened to learn that many people lost their lives and were injured in the terrorist attacks," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "We condemn these heinous terrorist attacks in the strongest possible terms."
Italy, which along with the UK ruled parts of Somalia as separate colonial powers, didn't offer any condolence messages to Mogadishu – at least not publicly.
"Deeply saddened by the tragedy that happened in #Seoul. Painful and shocking images. I express Italy's condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and the deepest sympathy to South Korean people," tweeted Italy's foreign minister Antonio Tajani.
Sono profondamente addolorato per la tragedia accaduta a #Seoul. Immagini molto dolorose. Voglio esprimere il cordoglio dell’Italia alle famiglie di quanti hanno perso la vita e la più sentita vicinanza al popolo sudcoreano. 🇰🇷🇮🇹— Antonio Tajani (@Antonio_Tajani) October 29, 2022
Somalia was missing from his timeline.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the news from Seoul as “horrific” on Twitter.
“All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time,” Sunak wrote.
His Twitter timeline, and that of his foreign secretary, James Cleverly, were silent about the deaths and suffering in Somalia.
'Standing with Seoul'
US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden sent their “deepest condolences” to South Korean families of the deceased.
Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in Seoul. We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and wish for a quick recovery to all those who were injured. The United States stands with the Republic of Korea during this tragic time.— President Biden (@POTUS) October 29, 2022
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a tweet that he was "hugely shocked and deeply saddened by the extremely tragic accident in Itaewon, Seoul, that took many precious lives, including those of young people with their future ahead of them."
In France, President Emmanuel Macron — who tweeted in both French and in Korean — offered support to Seoul residents and South Korea. “France is with you,” he said.
이태원 참사에 서울 시민들과 한국 국민들께 위로의 말씀을 전합니다. 프랑스는 여러분 곁에 있습니다.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 29, 2022
Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob said the loss of lives was “tragic” and it was “hard to imagine” the trauma and grief experienced by the families, loved ones and friends of those affected.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed similar sentiments on Twitter, sending his “deepest condolences” to the people of South Korea “and wishing a fast and full recovery to those who were injured.”
On behalf of Canadians, I’m sending my deepest condolences to the people of South Korea today, following a deadly stampede in Seoul. I’m thinking of everyone affected by this tragedy, and wishing a fast and full recovery to those who were injured.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 29, 2022
"I am devastated by news of the terrible incident in connection with Halloween celebrations in Seoul," Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in a statement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also sent condolences to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, expressing condolences and shock over the stampede accident in Seoul, according to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry.